Our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic must focus on making people’s lives better, the First Minister has said.
The Minister was speaking after a Covid recovery summit with government counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The four nations have stood shoulder-to-shoulder over the last 16 months of this pandemic. Through collaborative working we have been able to achieve progress, particularly through the roll-out of the UK-wide vaccines programme.
“Today in our first four nation recovery summit we have had constructive engagement on a range of complex and interconnected issues.
“It is clear that we have significant challenges to overcome. Our priorities must be to create a fit for purpose health and social care service, to ensure the best education for our children and to have good quality jobs. Skills are key, and it was useful to have the opportunity to press for a sector-specific retention of the furlough scheme for the aerospace industry.
“We are not content to simply press the reset button and return to the old normal. We share a determination to come back stronger, with improved public services and a prosperous economy.
“After a harrowing year, this is about making people’s lives better and I welcome the ongoing commitment to continued dialogue and discussion on how best we achieve this together.”